Netflix begins joint account verification in Vietnam

By Luu Quy   July 23, 2023 | 11:10 pm PT
Netflix begins joint account verification in Vietnam
A Netflix's request for account verification on a smart TV in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Yen
A change in terms and conditions at Netflix means users in Vietnam now have to verify that they are living in the same household as the account's owner.

Hai Yen, from Hanoi, said the application on her TV requested her to verify that she was living in the same house as the account's owner. The service said the TV would recognize if the user was connected to the same internet network as the registered account, and that users could verify through a code sent via email.

Yen said he was using an account with a group of close friends, so she had no trouble getting the verification code to continue using the service.

Meanwhile, Quynh Anh said she was using a joint account bought online and could not contact the account's owner. However, when she skipped the verification process, she was still allowed access and not completely blocked.

"Maybe the platform is doing a trial, so it was not implemented strictly. But my joint account may not be usable for much longer," she said.

Several Netflix users have received similar requests over the past two days. A Netflix representative in Vietnam has yet to provide any comment on the matter.

But on the service's customer support page in Vietnamese, the platform had updated its terms of service.

"A Netflix account may be jointly used by those living in the same household. Those who do not belong to the household would need to have their own account to watch Netflix," it said.

In an email sent to certain accounts in Vietnam on July 22, Netflix said it had updated its policies. The service recommended users sign out of all unauthorized devices, and those using joint accounts were requested to switch their profiles to a new account.

An administrator of a group for watching films online said Netflix's latest move was a sign that it had begun restricting accounts in Vietnam, following similar restrictions in other parts of the world.

The new policies are currently being implemented on smart TVs first as they are immobile devices, use a single Internet connection and are easier to manage.

In the coming days, Netflix may begin to apply the policy on other devices like phones and tablets, the administrator added.

Previously, Netflix had already restricted joint account access in certain markets, such as America. If one is found using an account not belonging to the same household, the service may charge additional fees or request users to create new accounts. The platform had also added cheaper packages with advertisements.

In Vietnam, Netflix had received multiple warnings from authorities for not forming a representative office, as well as showing content that violated regulations, which it was asked to remove.

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